Pest Control Blog

Why do some bug bites hurt while others just itch?

September 8th, 2017 by Mike MacDonald in Ants, Bed Bugs, bees, Mosquito, Pest Control Services, Spiders, wasps

Have you ever wondered why some bug bites hurt, while others only itch? In this post we answer the reason why bug bites itch.

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Is it really a bug bite or did they sting you?

One thing that can make a difference in how you react to a bug bite, is if it really was a bite or if it was a sting. For example wasps and bees will sting you with a stinger and sometimes that stinger can even get stuck in you.

An attack with a stinger will definitely hurt, but it may start to itch after the fact. If the stinger was left inside of your body it could cause an allergic reaction for some, and others itching can be caused as the sing location begins to heal.

Other insects don’t sting like bees and wasps, but they bite. Those may include things like ants (although some ants do sting as well) and spiders. These pests bite and would be more likely to cause pain from biting you rather than itching. Also depending on if the pest has a venomous bite or not could cause itching

Another form of pest attack would be things like mosquito bites, assassin bug bites, or bed bug bites, and these pests are sucking your blood along side of their “bite”. These forms of bites/stings typically cause itching.

One factor of if a bug bite will sting or itch is if the pest is venomous

Some pest’s bites can be venomous to humans, but most often they are just venomous to their prey. A few pests do have very dangerous venom to humans, and being bitten by them would require medical attention, but in most cases pest bites aren’t dangerous to humans, just annoying.

A venomous bite that isn’t potent enough to be dangerous, can be a cause of a bite or sting being itchy after a few days. The itchiness can be caused as the bite/sting is healing.

It can be hard to resist, but it’s best to avoid scratching the bites excessively as it can cause infection or potentially spread the venom to other parts of your body.

Why blood sucker bites, like mosquitoes and bed bugs, tend to itch

Bed bugs and mosquitoes don’t just bite you, they also draw blood to eat. Typically if a bug bit you or stung you, that would be the end of it, and it would have been more of a defense mechanism more than anything else. With pests like bed bugs and mosquitoes it’s a different story.

The natural way the human body works when it get’s a wound is to stop the bleeding. This requires the body to create blood clots to seal off the wound, however, if these pests want to eat, they have to stop that from happening long enough to feed.

Pests like bed bugs and mosquitoes end up releasing anticoagulants into the bite wound to keep the blood flowing so they can feed. Bed bugs even inject a form of anesthesia when they bite you to prevent you from feeling the bite and waking up when the bite you.

These anti-coagulants and anesthetics end up being a reason why the bites begin to itch after the fact. It is a mild form of allergic reaction for most people who are bit in this way. Interestingly, not all people react in the same fashion or degree.

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